Deception within the media

The mainstream media has a number of strategies that work to influence everyday propaganda. Writer Edwards Herman speaks about these very issues in his chapter Word tricks and propaganda. He focuses on the numerous techniques the media uses in their use of language order to misinform and mislead the public. The “language tricks” the media uses often work to deceive innocent civilians, by causing them to believe that the propaganda is factual and comes from a neutral and reliable source. This however is not the case and language is never neutral.  So many variable can effect what is being propagated, for example our selection of what’s being discussed or an emphasis on particular details. Our choice of words is also crucial, according to the article events and organizations can be associated to purr words (positive expressions) and snarl words (negative expressions). Groups linked to positive terminology (although in fact bad) get encouraging and optimistic responses from the public, while groups linked to terminology such as terrorist and extremist induce feelings of anger or rejection. Our society is so conditioned to respond to these terms that we often do so without any thought or consideration.

My personal favorite language manipulation is removing agency because I am certain that many of you, like me, get caught up on the shocking tragedy rather then who is to blame. This happens because of the deceiving manner in which the media propagates terrible things, take for example “more then 500,000 Indonesians are estimated to have died in a purge of leftists in 1965, the year Mr. Suharto came to power”. This example distorts the truth, removes agency and at the same time allocates blame.

So what can we do to promote change you may ask? Well the answer lies in Media activism!!!!!!!!! We need to stop being passive viewers and start being skeptical of the media and what it perches. In addition, we need to put things into perspective and keep in mind where are sources are coming from. For example, if you are listening to media coverage in the United States of America keep in mind the biases that may be imposed on you. Furthermore, we as a nation need to be active. If someone or something is being misrepresentative then speak up! It is the nation’s responsibility to tack action and confront whatever media sources is being unfair. A great example of people uniting and taking action is the women’s movement. Although significant strides have been made, things are far from perfect; women still continue to be unrepresented in the workforce and the media. As a woman I feel a personal reasonability to confront these issues on a day to day basis. In other words, being passive is serving others and myself an extreme injustice and not allowing us women to progress and be granted equal privileges. We all need to become more active because at the end of the day, who’s keeping the media in production? US! Therefore media should appeal to our likings and it will, only is we speak up.



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